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All of the tutorials on this page involve charcoal drawing. Charcoal is burnt organic material, usually wood. It comes in many different forms including pencils and sticks. Softer charcoals are called vine charcoal, while harder varieties are called compressed charcoals. Most charcoal is black although some manufacturers add white pigment to create white compressed charcoal. Vine charcoal typically makes lighter marks that are easy to erase, while compressed charcoals make darker marks that are harder to erase.
Charcoal can be used on many different surfaces. Charcoal is sometimes used when making a preliminary drawing for an oil painting on canvas or panel. For finished drawings, charcoal is typically used on textured drawing papers.